First and most importantly… My thoughts and prayers are with the men, women, and children in the tornado devastated cities and towns in the south. I have spent a lot of time in the last two days in devastated areas with the majority of the time being spent in Pleasant Grove Alabama. The warmth and love of the people I have met in that neighborhood have changed me forever. The sadness of morning the loss of people’s loved ones as they find out they did not make it has left an indelible impression on my heart. And in all the chaos, sadness, tears and moments of joy as people find loved ones I came across a flag hanging on a street that was incredible hard hit. I came across this flag and lost it, started crying and praying. I was unable to take any more as it reminded me so much of being at ground zero and the helpless feeling of knowing that life is so fragile. May god bless, help these people and guide the relief efforts
Well before the storms rolled into the south, the amateur radio operators in the region had many radio communication networks established. Storm spotters were reporting the locations of the the various tornados which helped to coordinate with the National Weather Service and the EMA for the initial responses into the devastated regions. The radio networks continue to operate and supplies are making it further and further into the regions around Birmingham. Formal operations have taken over most of what the amateur radio operators were able to provide in the initial response to the storms but amateur radio operators continue to support many operations throughout the state.
Now 2 days after the disaster and with a moment to take a breath I can only compliment the many operators that I have heard and seen performing hours and hours of selfless and often thankless work.
To every Amateur Radio Operator that has contributed to the efforts:
Thank you from me and everyone that you have touched with your service